Prop 22 is a proposition that allows those who work in app-based driving or employment to become independent contractors. This proposition was denied in California this past election, although companies such as Uber and Lyft (the main apps concerned with Prop 22) say that 4:1 of their drivers prefer being independent contractors. Even though a large number of people favor this initiative, there are still people who oppose this.
The main concern of those who think that Proposition 22 will have more negative effects than positive ones, cite the following reason. If the employees of app-based driving such as Uber and Lyft become independent contractors, they will be denied the benefits and protections that would have been guaranteed as employees of these big companies. Additionally, this would take away the strict regulations on where the employees could drive and how many hours they could work.
I asked Sean Son, a sophomore at Troy High School, for his opinion on the denial of Prop 22 in California and he said, “I think Prop 22 being denied is going to put companies like Uber and Lyft into a bad state because they would be losing a lot of income from having their drivers become independent contractors.” Another one of my peers, Emily Tran, a freshman from Garden Grove High School, said, “I think that Prop 22 would give companies less power over their employees but a smaller amount of money is needed for employment and Prop 22 shouldn’t be legalized because the employees need coverage for medical or financial insurance.”
Personally, I believe that there should be a compromise between the big companies (like Uber and Lyft) and the details outlined in the proposition itself. For example, employees should be non-independent contractors by abiding to an area limit in their town in which they are allowed to hire drivers. I think that this would act as a kind of loophole because although they are contracted by Uber and Lyft, they will be able to have their own schedules and be able to choose their own blocks of time in which to work. I also think that there should be a way to fairly compensate the drivers and provide them with benefits through their contracts. I fully understand that these companies have a budget that they must abide to regarding protections and benefits, but if the company were to claim legal responsibility for all the drivers, it might be potentially less problematic and safer (money-wise) for the company in the long-run.
<Ethan Kim / Canyon High School 9th Grade>